Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s



I offer up unto you my prayers and intercessions, for those especially who have in any matter hurt, grieved, or found fault with me, or who have done me any damage or displeasure. For all those also whom, at any time, I may have vexed, troubled, burdened, and scandalised, by words or deeds, knowingly or in ignorance; that you would grant us all equally pardon for our sins, and for our offences against each other. Take away from our hearts, O Lord, all suspiciousness, indignation, wrath, and contention, and whatsoever may hurt charity, and lessen brotherly love. Have mercy, O Lord, have mercy on those that crave your mercy, give grace to them that stand in need of it, and make us such as that we may be worthy to enjoy your grace, and go forward to life eternal. Amen.

( Thomas à Kempis )


Help us, O God of our salvation,
for the glory of your name.

O God, the heathen have come into your heritage;
your holy temple have they defiled
and made Jerusalem a heap of stones.
The dead bodies of your servants they have given
to be food for the birds of the air,
and the flesh of your faithful
to the beasts of the field.
Their blood have they shed like water
on every side of Jerusalem,
and there was no one to bury them.
We have become the taunt of our neighbours,
the scorn and derision
of those that are round about us.

Lord, how long will you be angry, for ever?
How long will your jealous fury blaze like fire?

Remember not against us our former sins;
let your compassion make haste to meet us,
for we are brought very low.
Help us, O God of our salvation,
for the glory of your name;
deliver us, and wipe away our sins
for your name's sake.

Why should the heathen say,
'Where is now their God?'
May the taunts with which
our neighbours taunted you, Lord,
return sevenfold into their bosom.
But we that are your people
and the sheep of your pasture
will give you thanks for ever,
and tell of your praise
from generation to generation.

Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.

Help us, O God of our salvation,
for the glory of your name.

When faith is scorned
and love grows cold,
then, God of hosts, rebuild your Church
on lives of thankfulness and patient prayer;
through Christ your eternal Son. Amen.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Harriet Starr Cannon and the labour of
holy women in the nineteenth century

In 1941 the “Women’s Porch” was dedicated at the Washington National Cathedral, the Episcopal Church’s cathedral in the capitol city of the United States. Etched into the porch are the words “To the glory of God and in grateful recognition of those faithful women whose Christian zeal and service have enriched both church and nation.”

Throughout the nineteenth century in both Britain and the US, faithful women, seeking to follow Christ in an increasingly urbanised environment, and with the path to ordination not yet open to them, responded to God in a rich variety of societies, communities, and religious orders of women. These groups revitalised Anglicanism. They turned increasingly toward a recovery of the sacramental life which characterised the pre-Reformation church, and combined that with a thoroughly contemporary response to the needs of urban life.

A perfect example of this was Harriet Starr Cannon who, in 1865 founded the Community of St. Mary in New York. Harriet and a small group of sisters took the traditional vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience before their bishop, and began a life of prayer and service that started with nursing, and particularly focused on the care of women who had endured difficult circumstances. As their community grew they also took on a teaching mission, providing free schools for the education of young women. Eventually the community grew and developed girls’ schools, hospitals, and orphanages not only in New York, but also in Tennessee and Wisconsin.

Today give thanks to God for the persistence and creativity of women who, while searching for a way to live out their faith, revitalised the church as well.

Scripture. In the thirteenth chapter of "Hebrews" at verses fifteen and sixteen we read:

Through Jesus, then, let us continually offer a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that confess his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.


We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for women who have dedicated their lives to God and the living out of the teaching of Jesus Christ.

... for the women we have known who have brought God's love into our lives.

... for those who are, for whatever reason, prevented from following what they believe to be their calling.

... for peace and unity in Europe. DETAILS

... for the people of the Channel Islands who celebrate Liberation Day (the end of the German occupation in 1945) today.

... for those with cancer, especially those who are, at present, very poorly or near death and for those who love them and are distressed by their suffering.

... for whistleblowers, in particular those who lose their job, or who are otherwise treated badly,  after reporting abuse or injustice.

... for those who have died and for those who mourn their passing.

... for those who are unwell and for those caring for them.

... for those, both close to us and far off, who we hold in our personal prayers.

... for ourselves.


Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.


From "Ten Decades of Praise: the Story of the Community of Saint Mary during Its First Century" by Sister Mary Hilary, CSM:

Not surprisingly, in a nation that had jettisoned Catholic theology, a distorted notion of virtue prevailed. Chastity was equated with innocence. Having lost her innocence, a woman was "branded with the ignominious name of outcast," as a House of Mercy pamphlet said. It mattered not whether she had plunged through weakness or been pushed. Social conventions of the time required that the adulteress be scorned and the adulterer go free, as Dr. Muhlenberg charged in a fiery sermon. One result of this prevailing attitude was a traffic in "white slaves" more horrible than the Sunday Supplement writers ever devised. The House of Mercy case histories witness to the frequency with which naive girls from the country were offered jobs as domestics in brothels; sometimes they were rescued by prostitutes and sent to the House of Mercy.

The House itself was believed to be haunted. Strange sounds were heard at night, as of a heavy object being dragged across the floor. A bloody-looking stain oozed out of one wall, to the horror of everyone, including Dr. Seymour. Sister Gertrude's memoirs, dictated in 1914, recounted these mysteries, concluding matter-of-factly: "Dr. Dix exorcised the House, and then there were no more ghosts after that. No matter what went, nobody ever spoke about it."

On October 16, 1869, the corner stone was laid for a new addition, with Bishops Southgate, Lay and Quintard present. The new facilities enabled the Sisters to double the population of the House to eighty.

There is little doubt that one of the greatest values of the work at the House of Mercy was its role in modifying the attitude toward "fallen women." The lists of contributions began to take on a more humane note, with such games as croquet and battledore and shuttlecock among the "bbls. of bedroom china." Bishop Potter's touching reports of confirmation services at the House won even the hardest hearts among the respectable. He pointed out that even when the Sisters' efforts at the House of Mercy appeared to fail, that the Lord who was tender with the adulteress would say to them, "Nevertheless, thou didst well, that it was in thine heart to save them."


Gracious God, you called Mother Harriet and her companions to revive the religious life in the Episcopal Church by founding the religious community of St. Mary, and to dedicate their lives to you: Grant that, after their example, we may ever surrender ourselves to the revelation of your holy will; through our saviour Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.


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